On virtue

2 Peter 1:5-7 KJV

[5] And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
[6] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
[7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

The definition of virtue from the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary:

Bravery valor. This was the predominant signification of virtus among the Romans.

Trust to thy single virtue

Moral goodness; the practice of moral duties and the abstaining from vice, or a conformity of life and conversation to the moral law. In this sense, virtue may be, and in many instances must be, distinguished from religion. The practice of moral duties merely from motives of convenience, or from compulsion, or from regard to reputation, is virtue as distinct from religion. The practice of moral duties from sincere love to God and his laws, is virtue and religion. In this sense it is true,

VIRTUE is nothing but voluntary obedience to truth. A particular moral excellence; as the virtue of temperance, of chastity, of charity.

Remember all his virtues.

Virtue is directly linked with courage.  Without virtue, courage is often rare and impossible.

My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure. -  MagicalQuote

Today, there are many facets of virtue, but there are three behaviors, quite common among men and women, which make the practice of virtue very difficult to impossible.  These behaviors are sex outside of marriage, particularly the related vices of masturbation and pornography, though fornication is a common vice as well.  Secondly is the viewing of television and movies, which are full of  violence, sex, and debauchery.  Thirdly, is the use of psychotropic drugs.

Of course, there are other vices too, Pride, Lust, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Greed, and Gluttony, are the seven deadly sins.

Without virtue, and avoiding vice, objective truth becomes very difficult to both see and practice, and without truth, life becomes very difficult indeed.

As a boy, growing up as one of 18 children, we were poor, and it’s sad the culture trains nearly all of us that family, love, and relationships aren’t worth anything.  The culture trains us that money, things, popularity, and pleasure are what life is about.  Back in elementary I remember all the kids around me with name brand shoes, popular t-shirts, jeans, backpacks, and their parents had nice cars and homes.  I had very little of that, and yet, what I did  have was more than all the money on earth could buy.  I had a loving Father and Mother, happy relationships, and above all else, I had my innocence, which is the source of everlasting peace and joy.

How often the world will try to make us trade the valuable riches that we do have for the pathetic pleasures and riches that cost us what is worth more than anything else, our soul?

“If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.”

― Lao-tse

It is impossible to have peace in the heart and home without virtue, and without virtue, liberty is impossible for the individual and the nation.  Peace, joy, and liberty are inextricably bound up with virtue.

The ancient Greeks and Romans were big believers in virtue, long before Christianity.

 

Consider your origin. You were not formed to live like brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.

—  Dante, 1265-1321, Italian poet

Pleasures are mortal while the virtues are immortal.

Αι μεν ηδοναί θνηταί αι δε αρεταί αθάνατοι.

—  Periander of Corinth, 668-584 BC, tyrant of Corinth

Virtually every problem faced by the world can be fixed by virtue, and the more virtuous the average citizen becomes, the wiser and more knowledgeable their rulers will become.  Right now, the citizens are corrupt and foolish, and so we have corrupt and foolish rulers.

Along with virtue, the order designed by nature and nature’s God must be adhered to. Part of this order is the role that God gave the man to lead the home, the marriage, the church, and nation, and the role given to women to bear, nurture, and care for children.  A woman who leaves her role to care for the home, other women, and her children primarily, is a woman who begins to take on masculine attributes, and this leads to total chaos. For, where there is no order of roles, there can be no peace and harmony.

 

 

 

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